This morning at 9:30, a ribbon will be ceremoniously cut for the grand opening of a project THON has been contributing to since 2004.
The Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center will officially honor its new hospital building specially designed for the treatment and special care of pediatric cancer patients.
Manager of Media Relations at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Megan Manlove said that ground was broken for construction in November of 2009, and will officially open to patients in January.
While the building has had many philantrophic donations, Manlove said that the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon had the second largest contribution with $10 million.
“We had a campaign goal to raise $65 million toward construction of the new building, and to date, we have received more than $75 million in commitments from individuals, groups, and corporate supporters,” Manlove wrote in an email. “The THON gift was the second largest we received, with the top commitment of $25 million made by Highmark.”
Overall Public Relations Chairwoman Cat Powers said that in 2004, THON made a pledge to donate $10 million throughout the course of seven years, but were able to fulfil their goal in four years.
“The donation is a combination of THON totals over the years, canning, THONvelopes, and other philantrophic donations,” Powers (senior-public relations) said. “It was comprised of a certain percentage of the THON totals that we were able to donate to the hospital.”
Manlove said THON’s donations supported the IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon Pediatric Cancer Pavilion, which provides inpatient and outpatient space for children undergoing cancer treatment, as well as other support services in the hospital ranging from music therapy programs to pediatric social workers and research.
“Some of the money goes to pay pediatric oncology patient medical bills not covered by their insurance,” Manlove wrote. “THON proceeds support pediatric cancer research at the Children’s Hospital, both research into the causes of disease and clinical trials of experimental treatments that may show promise for some patients.”
Prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, there will be several guest speakers at the event including Lt. Gov. James Cawley, Highmark CEO William Winkenwerder, Congressman Charlie Dent, State Rep. John Payne and one of the patient families whose lives will be impacted by the opening of the facility, according to a press release.
The new Children’s Hospital is five floors, and 263,000 square feet of space. Manlove said the building will have six pediatric cancer operating rooms, two procedure rooms and a pediatric radiology space, as well as other amenities specifically for the kids.
THON Overall Chair Will Martin said that this is a proud day for THON because the building is a piece of physical evidence that all of their hard work is truly making a difference.
“We are absolutely very proud to have contributed to this project. Within the THON community, this serves as physical evidence that we are supporting the fight against pediatric cancer,” Martin said. “This building will allow children to have the best care they can possibly have in the area that they stay.”